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Tension inside temple

india Updated: Mar 02, 2008 15:33 IST

PTI
Highlight Story

Tension prevailed inside the famous

Nataraja

temple in Chidambaram on Sunday after priests tried to prevent a man from rendering Tamil devotional hymns

dhevaram

inside the sanctum sanctorum, police said.

Unruly scenes were witnessed by the devotees after Arumuga Swamy, who had been trying to sing dhevaram inside the sanctum sanctorum for the past several years, reached the temple armed with an order by a court-appointed official permitting him to sing there.

About 50 deekshitars (temple priests), who own the temple, blocked Swamy reiterating their stance that he could not enter the sanctum sanctorum but could recite it outside, police said.

However, Swamy entered the sanctum sanctorum with the assistance of a police team led by District Superintendent of Police (DSP) Pradeep Kumar.

In the ensuing scuffle, the priests tried to pull out Swamy from the sacred spot. The DSP was also pulled out.

The police forcefully evicted the priests and Swamy was allowed to render the hymn penned by saint poets--Appar, Thirunavakkarasar, Sundarar and Manickavasagar-- praising Lord Shiva.

Swamy had filed a case in Madras High Court seeking permission to sing inside the sanctum sanctorum. Admitting his petition, the court had asked Secretary of Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Trust to look into the matter.

The Trust's secretary Santhanam had issued an order last week stating that Swamy could sing inside the sanctum sanctorum without causing disturbance to devotees.

Swamy had contended that dhevaram was sung inside sanctum sanctorum of the temple some 60 years back. Later on, the priests did not permit it. Nowadays, only the priests enter the sanctum sanctorum.

The priests' contended that Swamy could sing it inside the temple premises, but not inside sanctum sanctorum.